Signalling, cell cycle and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells

Tom Burdon, Austin Smith, Pierre Savatier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pluripotent mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells can be expanded in large numbers in vitro owing to a process of symmetrical self-renewal. Self-renewal entails proliferation with a concomitant suppression of differentiation. Here we describe how the cytokine leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) sustains self-renewal through activation of the transcription factor STAT3, and how two other signals - extracellular-signal-related kinase (ERK) and phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K) - can influence differentiation and propagation, respectively. We relate these observations to the unusual cell-cycle properties of ES cells and speculate on the role of the cell cycle in maintaining pluripotency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-8
Number of pages7
JournalTrends In Cell Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cyclins
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Lymphokines
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators


Dive into the research topics of 'Signalling, cell cycle and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this